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I’d always played boardgames with my family and...
Dicebreaker recently put out an article about the most influential games since Settlers of Catan which arguably began the modern boardgame renaissance. While I didn’t agree with every game on that list, seriously Star Realms?, it got me thinking about games that have been an influence on me, my tastes in games, and, in a lot of ways, my writing. I’ve never really done a list style article so I thought it would be a good opportunity to experiment with the formal.
Two of the games on your list are direct descendants of it.
Your list is more about influences on you personally, so that's a different story. But the list you link to is almost absurd in nature, requiring a minimum number of buyers to be considered. It's almost as if they were concerned about citing games that readers wouldn't have heard of. Perhaps they were concerned they wouldn’t get linked to?
1. Puerto Rico. Popular whipping boy but it is such a tightly-designed game.
2. Dogs in the Vineyard. Every RPG I run tends to turn into this now.
3. Werewolf. As a stand-in for social deduction games generally.
4. No Thanks. A lovely light game that is great for gamers and non-gamers alike.
5. Mutant Year Zero. Where I'm at RPGwise, for the most part. "Trindie" designs (traditional + indie) that blend a tried-and-true structure with a reward cycle that incentivizes the core thematic activity of the game.
I'm interested in hearing why you think Heroquest doesn't stand up. I've been eyeing it to play with the kid.
*Ignoring MtG from 1993 then including Android: Netrunner, 7 Wonders, Dominion, and Star Realms is kinda funny though. They wouldn't exist without the former.
Warhammer 40K and Fantasy. Those games taught me patience and that I actually had some creative talent outside the written word (The avatar I use on this site and several others is something I found on the Web for my Space Marine chapter, the Ryujin Legion.)
MTG. I was a serious tournament player for much of the 90s. It taught me both focus and increased my tendency to think outside the box.
Blue Moon. It was a step down from the complexity of MTG, but still had tremendous depth and strategy. I'd played a couple Knizias before that, but that was the one that really opened my eyes to how simple mechanics and direct language could still make a great game. Like...
Neuroshima Hex and its endless variability.
Finally, Chaos in the Old World and the obvious bridge between the not-so-disparate worlds of Euro and Ameritrash. (Plus, Warhammer.) I'd remain a huge Eric Lang fan even if he'd never followed CitOW with other great games.
I think the Dicebreaker list is interesting as I wouldn't definitely tag Settlers as bringing boardgaming to a much wider audience. Sure there are games earlier that influence some of the choices in the list but that wasn't what their list was about. I agree with most of their choices, but yeah there are some noticeable absences like TIcket to Ride, which is probably the closest Settlers follow up in terms of bringing 'hobby games' to the mass market.
KDM is an interesting point. Seen it influence a lot of games recently as you say.
thegiantbrain wrote: I think for me Heroquest is one of those things that should stay in childhood.
Totally agree. Teenage me thought that this and the slew of similar titles that followed at the time were fantastic. Adult me acquired a copy a few years back and had a complete nostalgia fail.